Last night, Mayor Jim Watson presented the Key to the City to the Ottawa Citizen, in recognition of extraordinary accomplishments serving generations of readers by sharing news and information in Canada’s capital for over 175 years. 

Since 1845, the Ottawa Citizen has covered stories that are now woven into the nation’s history. Beginning as a four-page weekly publication, the Citizen underwent changes to its ownership, its technology and its own name to become Ottawa’s leading media outlet and oldest continuously operating business.

In a global, media-rich environment, the Ottawa Citizen remains a trusted source for news and entertainment that helps make sense and meaning of a complex world.

 

Quote

“Today, I was honoured to recognize the Ottawa Citizen by presenting them with the Key to the City. The Ottawa Citizen’s longstanding dedication to sharing news and information with our residents has had a tremendous impact on our city and our country. As one of Ottawa’s longest-serving businesses, I commend the Ottawa Citizen for their many years of coverage and keeping our community informed.”

Mayor Jim Watson

Key facts

  • The Key to the City is Ottawa’s highest and most prestigious award.
  • The Key to the City was first presented in 1935 by His Worship Stanley Lewis to Lord Tweedsmuir, Governor General of Canada, and his wife Lady Tweedsmuir.
  • Previous Key to the City recipients include author Margaret Atwood, photographer Yousuf Karsh, the Community Foundation of Ottawa, actress Sandra Oh and retired hockey player Daniel Alfredsson.
  • The Key to the City was last awarded to Dr. Vera Etches and Ottawa Public Health.

 

Biography

The Ottawa Citizen: Trending since 1845

The Ottawa Citizen has been telling the story of Canada’s capital for 175 years. Beginning as a four-page weekly publication, the Citizen underwent changes to its ownership, its technology and its own name to become Ottawa’s leading media outlet and oldest continuously operating business.

Over the decades, the Citizen has covered stories that are now woven into the nation’s history: from Queen Victoria’s choice of Ottawa as the capital in 1857 to the assassination of Thomas D’Arcy McGee, a Father of Confederation, in 1868 to the October Crisis of 1970. Its journalists have covered key milestones in the evolution of the city: the construction of the National Gallery, return of NHL hockey, 1998 ice storm, 2018 tornadoes and most recently the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today, the Citizen’s reputation for fair-minded coverage of local institutions – city hall, the courts, education and health care – underpins a rich variety of web, social media and print products. In a global, media-rich environment the Citizen remains a trusted source for news and entertainment that helps make sense and meaning of a complex world.

Not only has the Ottawa Citizen described the character of our city, but it has also helped define it.